Paulo Sergio has told us that Hearts can win Sunday’s Scottish Cup final against quadruple treble hopefuls Celtic and that Jamie Walker will be the player to help win it for the Jambos.

The former Hearts manager spoke to us ahead of this weekend’s match and while he recognises that the Edinburgh side will face a tough test against the holders Celtic, they are getting to the play them at the right time.

“I always follow Hearts, and they have been impressive in the league so far. I hope they can keep this up as their place is in the Scottish Premiership, not in the Championship. If they can keep this up, I am sure they will be back where they belong next season.

“Both teams are in different moments of confidence. I believe Celtic aren’t in their better days and I am sure Neil Lennon isn’t happy being second in the league and not doing so well in Europe.

“On the other side Hearts are doing what they can to be promoted to the Scottish Premiership. It is not easy to beat Celtic, but I believe they are not confident and maybe this is a good moment to be playing them to get a result.

“Playing against Celtic in four or five matches, maybe you have the chance to win one. I hope this will be the one for Hearts!”

Asked what his prediction is for the game, Sergio was specific in what he thinks will be the outcome of Sunday’s match.

“I think Hearts will win 1-0 and I predict Jamie Walker will score the goal! He has been with Hearts for so long and deserves to be in the spotlight. I think he can be the one to win it for Hearts.”

Hearts were lifted in the summer by the return of former player and manager Robbie Neilson who took over from his old boss Craig Levein, after leaving Dundee United to take the Tynecastle job. Sergio thinks he’s the right man to bring success to the Gorgie side.

“He has a very good advantage. He knows the club better than anyone else. As someone who played and managed Hearts before, he’s the right man to help them return to the top division.”

Hearts will be looking to win their first Scottish Cup since one of the best days in the club’s history in 2012 when they defeated their city rivals Hibs 5-1. Sergio was in charge of the Jambos that day and looks back fondly on that memorable day in May.

“It was an unbelievable moment. We believed so much that we were going to do it after beating Celtic in the semi-final.

“We played Hibernian four times that season and beat them every time, so our confidence going in to play them was very, very high. We believed in ourselves and had a togetherness and very good players.

“I believe so much that things could go for us and after the game it was a relief to achieve such a fantastic thing for the club and for our fans.

“It was the best achievement (of my career). I would put the Scottish Cup in first place. After 2012, I have been back to Edinburgh six or seven times and the way everybody makes me feel when I go back there is unbelievable. I’ve won other things at other clubs, but it wasn’t the same. I love Hearts and Edinburgh so much – it is like family.”

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